SRINAGAR: In order to encourage international investment and ensure ease of business in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has assured a group of investors on a three day visit from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that some of their concerns will be redressed in minimum possible time.
Close to 33 business delegates, including chairpersons and CEOs of companies from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong, were in Srinagar recently to participate in the invest summit organised by the J&K government. Twelve Indian-origin businessmen were also part of the delegates.
The delegation was in Kashmir following an invitation by LG Sinha on January 6, when he visited Dubai Expo to attract investment for the union territory. The investment summit was attended by CEOs of top UAE and Hong Kong Companies, women entrepreneurs, start-up representatives and exporters. Apart from LG Sinha, the delegates also met Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce Department, Ranjan Thakur.
“They (the delegates) have identified some concerns, which will be redressed in minimum time,” LG Sinha said, adding, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiatives have resulted in a new relationship between India and the UAE.”
Sinha said that the purpose of inviting the delegates to Srinagar was for them to get the feel of the place for themselves. “Kashmir has seen a change in the past two years, especially with new industrial schemes,” the LG said, adding, “The industrial scheme in J&K is better than the other states of the country.” J&K is offering ₹28,000 crore as incentives, he shared.
“J&K saw only ₹1,500 crore investment till last year and proposals worth ₹ 27,000 crore have already been approved,” he shared, adding that the investments will cross the ₹ 70,000 crore mark.
The delegation participated in the first ever overseas investment summit in Srinagar. The delegates said investments were mutually beneficial to India and the UAE, especially Kashmir.
Abdulla Mohammad Yousuf Abdulla Alshaibani, Chief Executive Officer of the Emirates International Investment Group, who is also a member of the Emirates Board of Business Sustainable Development said that he believes there is a big opportunity to invest for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries or the UAE, including Indian friends living within the UAE.
Officials said investors from these Muslim countries will also be invited to J&K, as the local administration is aiming to attract ₹70,000 crore investment this year.
“The region ticked all the right boxes for investors because of cheap electricity and skilled manpower, among other things,” shared Principal Secretary (Industries and Commerce Department), Thakur.
The delegates said that they feel safe in Kashmir and it feels like one family. “Kashmir is a piece of paradise and great land,” they said, adding that they are working towards making investments. “There are many steps that we have in mind that we will take very soon,” the delegates said.
Bal Krishen, CEO of the Indian Century Financial Group, who was heading the delegates, said that investors have started seeing business prospects in J&K. “They have come with a clear mind,” he said.
Retail major LuLu has said it will set up a food processing and logistic hub in Srinagar while real estate giant Emaar has announced 500,000 square feet in the city. Earlier, DP World signed an MoU to build an inland port in Jammu and Kashmir.